Antisocial behavior is defined as behaviors that lack overall adherence to social norms. It encompasses abnormal or destructive thinking, acts, perception and relationships. People demonstrating antisocial behavior have little regard for others, may be aggressive or violent, abuse drugs and alcohol, have difficulty in maintaining relationships or jobs and are often involved with the police.
Some common traits associated with antisocial behavior include:
* Refuses to follow rules and enjoys breaking the law
* Impulsive behaviors which may affect the safety of himself or others
* Cruel to younger people, animals and those who are different to them
* Overly arrogant
* Lack of respect for others, especially those who are supervisors, senior family members, law enforcement officers
* Disruptive, troublesome and uncaring
Drug and alcohol use is common with those who display antisocial behavior. Excessive alcohol consumption including binge drinking occurs frequently and when intoxicated, antisocial behaviors often worsen. In addiction, use of drugs and alcohol at inappropriate times such as at school or work may be more common in those who behave antisocially. There is also some suggestion that people who are antisocial will seek out involvement in drugs or alcohol misuse. This is because they want to be involved in things that are considered criminal or wrong as a form of attention seeking, disruption and lack of concern for themselves and others. Criminal activities like assault, theft or even driving offenses may be linked to antisocial behaviors, especially when a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
An addiction is defined as a physical and psychological dependence on a mind-altering substance. It may also be defined as the compulsive use and dependence on a psychoactive substance. Either definition is suited to explaining the behavioral and psychological change that occurs as a result of repeated, chronic use of a substance. An addiction can occur to any person due to the addictive nature of a substance like alcohol that alters the brain chemistry, changes behaviors and impacts on a persons health. An addiction can occur to any person regardless of their social status, mental health, age, gender or race.
There are a number of different symptoms of addiction, some which are shared with antisocial behavior symptoms:
* Secretiveness and attempts to hide drug or alcohol use
* Lying and unethical behavior
* Lack of interest or concern for people of things that previously were important
* Problems at school or work
* Mood swings including periods of mania and depression
* Unexplained aggression
The combination of antisocial behavior and addiction can be troubling as substances may magnify the negative behaviors and actions. Psychoactive substances (which includes alcohol) alter how people react and respond to people or places. In some cases, the drug or alcohol abuse contributes to negatively behaviors, being involved in criminal activities, violence and financial problems. The cycle of drug abuse and antisocial behavior is common and cannot be broken unless a person commits to giving up their drug of choice and entering rehabilitation.
Antisocial personality disorder is a psychological condition that is associated with the antisocial behaviors It is a recognized mental disorder that is characterized by destructive and abnormal thinking, aggression and violence, poor commitment to jobs, relationships and friends and involvement in trouble making and disruptive actions. Those who have the condition often display patterns of troubling behaviors, are cynical, negative, highly opinionated, lack empathy are highly arrogant and fail to conform to social norms. They lack concern for their future, for friends or family and how their attitude and behaviors may impact on others. A reckless disregard for their own health and safety is common and a person with the condition will often engage in damaging and dangerous activities like sexual misconduct, public nuisance activities and drug or alcohol misuse.
Antisocial behavior can be very damaging to the process of rehabilitation both for the individual and those around them. In a formal rehab setting, a person who lacks consideration for others and is disruptive to the group can affect the outcomes of rehab. Those who behave in this way often bully or harass other addicts who are trying to overcome their addiction, they may question the motives of the supervisors or doctors, fail to participate in group sessions, become aggressive and violent, incite trouble and may not follow orders.
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